Deonte Thompson Is Turning Heads

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The defense was winning 11-on-11 drills at Ravens minicamp last Wednesday when somehow, the offense scored an easy, long touchdown.

It was rookie undrafted free agent wide receiver Deonte Thompson who not only blew by Baltimore's secondary, but busted out a leaping celebration for emphasis.

Considering there's little contact during Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and minicamp, the wide receivers are an easy position for the media to evaluate. They're either getting open or they're not.

Despite a crowded wide receiver position full of talent, and another rookie in sixth-round pick Tommy Streeter, it was Thompson who often stood out.

"It's competitive. I know I have to bring my A game every day because they're bringing theirs," Thompson said.

The Florida prospect feels he finally has a chance to show his abilities at the NFL level after going through a series of obstacles in college.

He was slated to be the Gators' top receiver heading into his sophomore season in 2009, but Thompson pulled his hamstring and fellow wideout Riley Cooper emerged. By the time Thompson returned just three games later, he was the No. 2.

Frequent changes on the coaching staff also limited Thompson, he said. He had three different offensive coordinators in his four years.

Thompson's stats never jumped off the charts. He caught 24 passes for 343 yards and four touchdowns as a sophomore and 38 balls for 570 yards and a score as a junior.

"There was an obstacle to overcome each year," Thompson said.

But one thing hasn't changed through it all. Thompson is crazy fast.

He said his best 40-yard dash time is 4.23 seconds. He ran indoor track at Florida his first two years, and reached the SEC championship in the 60 meters.

"I've got some wheels," Thompson said with a laugh. "I think they haven't seen my knack for big plays. I feel like every time I touch the ball, there's a possibility of something big happening."

Thompson's speed and elusiveness are also being utilized in the Ravens' return game. He said he's been fielding kickoffs, which would put him in a competition with Jacoby Jones and David Reed, who is returning from knee surgery.

Undrafted rookie wide receiver LaQuan Williams made the team last year after not having much of a chance to showcase his talents in college, which is giving Thompson hope.

"I know it's possible," Thompson said. "I know the best player is going to play here. I just have to keep doing what I'm doing and I'll have a chance."

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